#Drought a stressor for trout — The #Aspen Daily News

An angler casts a line on the Roaring Fork River upstream of Basalt in Pitkin County. Credit: Jerd Smith, Fresh Water News

From The Aspen Daily News (Matthew Bennett):

The ongoing drought across much of the West and above-average temperatures have water quality managers like [Chad] Rudow concerned.

“We had a below-average snowpack, and that snow melted off quicker than usual,” Rudow said. “The double whammy that we got is we went into the year with below-average soil moisture levels.”

When the snow did melt, a lot of that moisture went toward replenishing depleted soil and did not make it back into the rivers, necessarily.

Tanner Shelp, an employee at Roaring Fork Anglers, said although trout fishing had been “amazing” so far this summer, he was worried about it being short lived due to warmer water temperatures and the sheer number of people out on the water each day…

Trout can easily die, even if an angler adheres to proper catch-and-release techniques when water temperatures exceed the mid-60s…

Once river temperatures hit the mid- to upper 60s, the brown, rainbow and other species of trout swimming their waters get stressed, Shelp said…

According to data from the United States Geological Survey, the Roaring Fork River’s water temperature ranged between 57 and 61 degrees Fahrenheit [July 1, 2021]. The Roaring Fork Conservancy via its Instagram account warned that ­Wednesday night, the Roaring Fork River reached 64 degrees, adding “several stretches along the Colorado River (Upper Colorado and Utah border) have already reached 70 degrees.”

Leave a Reply